Corvette Engineers Arrested for Street Racing, Apparently Fired From GM

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Earlier this month, two GM engineers were arrested in Bowling Green, Kentucky for illegally street racing the new 2020 Chevrolet Corvette. Three Stingrays were present, but only two of the men were caught breaking the law. Kentucky State Police stopped Alexander Thim and Mark Derkatz on January 8th, on Lovers Lane in Bowling Green, for exceeding the road’s 45-mph speed limit.

Thim was busted doing 120 mph while Derkatz settled on a nice, round 100 mph, according to local outlet WNKY. However, even 26 mph over the limit would be enough to haul them into custody and set court dates that could end in a suspended license. It seems the two men were also fired from General Motors for hooning the mid-engined C8 before the general public was provided the opportunity.

On Wednesday, CarBuzz noted the men had changed their professional profiles to indicate they were no longer employed by the automaker:

Both of their respective LinkedIn pages reveal they each stopped working for the automaker as of January 2020. The timing is not coincidental. Thim’s page even specifically mentions he “previously worked at General Motors launching the new 2020 Corvette.” Derkatz wrote on his page, in past tense, about his “multiple roles at General Motors.”

Both are young, Thim is just 27 and Derkatz is 30, so they’ll find new jobs sooner or later. They’re also talented and highly-skilled engineers once assigned to work on perhaps the most important project the automaker has done in years. We can’t confirm whether they were fired or chose instead to resign, but it’s clear they’re out of the job at the moment. This all could have ended far worse if either of them got into a serious accident either injuring themselves or someone else.

While Lovers Lane appears to be a rather predictable and mostly straight road, driving at over twice the posted limit in an area with both residential and business traffic isn’t something we’d recommend. Obviously, the local authorities feel similarly.

“If the speed limit is 45 miles per hour, there is a reason for that so if you double or almost triple that, it makes it a lot more dangerous. There is a lot more things that can go wrong. It makes it a lot harder to see what is in front of you. It is a lot harder to react to vehicle and things in front of you,” Kentucky State Trooper Daniel Priddy told WNKY.

The men reportedly identified themselves as GM engineers when stopped by the police. They were held in the Warren County Regional Jail overnight and released on a pair of $1,000 bonds the following day.

[Image: General Motors]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • Redapple Redapple on Jan 23, 2020

    They took a big hit. To go from launching the radical new corvette in an assembly plant to doing 8Ds at Livonia Transmission will really suck.

  • Rudiger Rudiger on Jan 23, 2020

    These guys would have been wise to have studied the history of factory street racing back in sixties Detroit. GM ad-man Jim Wangers (GTO, 442) would go out on Woodward Avenue, but he was smart enough to have someone else driving the cars and rode shotgun. Similarly, 'Father of the Hemi' Tom Hoover would loan out his '66 Hemi Coronet to someone else or simply give experimental parts to local Mopar guys to test on their cars.

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